There are some days as a parent where you just need a little pick me up; a bit of reassurance that you aren’t totally f*cking up raising your children. Last weekend I had one of these days.
After showing my two kids the TV game show The Floor is Lava, which is essentially an epic obstacle course with fake lava on the ground that contestants have to avoid falling into, they decided to replicate what they had just seen.
This involved my youngest jumping from the coffee table to the couch at precisely the same time as the cat, which resulted in a squashed and terrified cat scratching the absolute shit out of my daughter’s hand while she fell onto the hard, tiled floor.
Watch: Things Mums never hear. Post continues below.
After band-aiding my daughter and consoling my cat with pats, I decided to browse some parenting articles online, in an attempt to find a bigger failure than my own (don’t judge me - we all do it).
I found an article titled 11 Bad Parenting Traits You Have – Without Even Knowing It, and at first glance I thought I’d struck gold.
Surely this article would make me feel a bit more confident in my parenting capabilities and not so idiotic. There was no way I possessed even close to all 11 bad traits.
I was wrong. Because here they are.
1. You talk to your child instead of with them.
While most of the time, the conversations with my children are two ways – I listen to them when they speak and respond in turn (i.e. we converse), there are other times when the dialogue is more one way.
For instance: “No, cutting up the pieces of packaging foam to cover the entire living room with ‘snow’, while maybe creative, is not the greatest of ideas and yes, you do have to clean it up and no, we are not discussing it.”
No response required. Do I feel guilty about this? No.
2. You get lost in negative thoughts.
Sorry for feeling some negative emotions and thoughts from time to time. I shall endeavour to push them aside and only exhibit them when alone in the dark like all healthy adults do.
3. You don’t manage your own frustrations.
So, I wouldn’t call myself the most zen of mothers. Or really zen of anything. But according to this listicle, my un-zen-like state is impacting my children’s behaviour too, so I should do what I can to avoid these ‘trigger points’ and not be frustrated.